Submitted: 05-23-2003 by Kudzu
I was in the market for a longer, leaner boat after about 2 years paddling a Cape Horn 15. I liked the idea of a skeg also. I read the glowing reviews of the P&H Capella and demoed it twice. I tried and tried to love it like the folks who reviewed it but the cockpit opening would not allow me to draw my knees up without raising my butt off the seat. I really wanted to be able to raise the knees so I could stretch safely out on the water. A larger opening also makes exiting the boat easier and safer for me. The Tempest 170 cockpit allowed me to do what I want. The Phase III seat is extremely comfortable. The hip pads fit me perfectly straight from the factory, and the thigh support feels great. (I'm 5'9" and about 170 pounds). After paddling the Cape Horn I was impressed with how quickly the Tempest can turn.
I have had my poly Tempest out in rough conditions and was pleasantly surprised to find the hatches completely dry. I mounted the Nexus compass in the recess on the deck and have found I can read it easily. The slate grey color of my boat knocks me out and the deck rigging is perfect for wedging a gps between the bungie and the coaming recess. It sits right up where I can easily read it. The day hatch is huge. Far better than the one on my Cape Horn.
If I had to say something negative about this boat it would have to do with tracking. In a really strong crosswind (I'd estimate 30 mph) I was doing a lot of sweep strokes to stay in line. I was wishing that skeg would dig a little deeper down!
All in all a great boat!